My Love Affair with New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina was my first day of college, my 18th birthday, and the disaster happening in New Orleans was the last thing on my mind that day. I grew up sheltered in a rural farm town in New York State and hadn’t traveled or even thought about the south...ever.
Fast forward to 2010, 5 years after the storm, and a group of my girlfriends and I headed to New Orleans for Halloween. Before we even got out of the car, I was already thinking “I am going to live here.” When New Orleans chooses you, you know.
It is the only city I have ever been to where I could feel it’s living breathing consciousness. I fell in love.
Shortly after visiting, a few months after the oil spill, I moved there on my birthday. For the three and a half years that I lived in New Orleans, I was becoming the person that I am today. I was throwing underground parties with my partner at the time Rusty Lazer, making insane headpieces, costumes for parades and touring the world as a dancer for bounce rappers like Big Freedia, Katey Red, and Nicky Da B. The energy of the city was intoxicating (and being a non drinker in that city was quite a trip!) and I was expanding rapidly as an artist.
It was during this time that Big Dick’s House of Big Boobs was born. My maximalist technicolor aesthetic, my desire to break free from the oppression of “normal” society, and the experience of living a poetic life every day also exploded. Being tapped into that extreme spectrum of energy, from beauty to chaos, from magic to darkness was overwhelming at times. It is in New Orleans that I learned how to channel the bad into the good and how to weave the power of shape shifting, dance, and revelry into the fabric of my own daily reality.